Sultan Azlan Shah Airport is a civilian airport in the town of Ipoh in western Malaysia. By using this more local airport several hours of travel time can be saved by avoiding the bus or car journey to Kuala Lumpur. Nicknamed the ‘City of Millionaires' or 'Bougainvillea City' Ipoh is the capital of Perak, Malaysia and is 200 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur travelling via the North-South Expressway.
A boom in tin mining in the 19th century meant that Ipoh became of Malaysia’s main cities. There are many beautiful and historic buildings in the town including the railway station which the locals affectionately call “The Taj Mahal” of Ipoh.
Over the past few years there have been several plans to relocate the airport as passenger numbers increase as the current airport is in a very residential area of Ipoh which has made major expansion difficult. None of the relocation plans have come to fruition as of yet so for the time being the existing airport has been upgraded and the runway lengthened.
These major changes have meant a period of limited service but Ipoh Airport is now back up and running with new facilities and a longer runway. Several local dignitaries were at a ceremony to unveil a plaque at the official opening of the airport which took place on Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah’s 85th birthday. The improvements took about seven months to complete at a cost of RM42 million.
The airport is publicly owned and operated by Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd. The official Malaysia Airport figures for 2012 are passenger movements 73,354 and aircraft movements 23,299.
The airport at Ipoh started out as a small airfield where the Fokker aircraft could land. In the 1980’s demand grew and the airport rapidly expanded.
The runway has been extended to just less than 2,000 metres and can now accommodate the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800.
The shiny new terminal now has air-conditioning in the departures and arrivals halls for the comfort of passengers and staff plus modernised facilities for check in and CCTV for additional security. There is an improved VIP lounge and a viewing area for passengers to watch the aircraft take off and land.
Flights and Destinations
Firefly (codeshare Malaysia Airlines) - Singapore,
Malaysia Airlines – Kuala Lumpur (via Singapore), Bangkok, Singapore City, Bandar Seri Begawan, Manila City, Jakarta
Transport To and From the Airport
As the airport is so close to the town centre the transfer time is short and taxis are readily available. Many of the bigger hotels in Ipoh offer a shuttle service. Car hire is available online or on arrival at the airport.